BIBLE READING: MARK 7
1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.
2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.
3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.
4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.
5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?
6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
“THEY FOUND FAULT”
The Pharisees and scribes were quite a biased, prideful bunch. They always had their eyes on everyone else. You rarely see any of the religious leaders in Jesus day that actually stopped to take a look at themselves with scrutiny. This happened to be something that Jesus really detested. Here they were upset at the disciples of Jesus because they saw His disciples eating and fellowshipping with individuals that had not thoroughly washed their hands. I sure am glad that the Pharisees were not eating with my sons. The Pharisees sure made a big issue of this. They considered a person “defiled” if that person didn’t outwardly, ritualistically, clean objects in their life that involved their food. Now I am all for keeping things clean, and I’m sure Jesus was also, but Jesus felt it to be more important to keep your heart clean, than your hands.
The first thing we need to learn is that there are always people in your life that will be very good at finding and pointing out your faults. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, and they still found things to criticize Him about. But imagine if Jesus had let their criticism make Him give up. We wouldn’t have salvation if He had done that. Don’t let criticism make you quit either.
Secondly, we need to be motivated by this passage to be the kind of disciples that love people for who they are and where they are. Let’s not be condescending or above others. Maybe they don’t look, or act, or do things the way we do. Each of us are “defiled” in our flesh to. There are “none righteous no not one”.
And last, may we be reminded today that God desires above all else that we are clean on the inside. It does not mean we do not need to be clean on the outside, but it means that our top priority is to make sure that our heart is right. That is what is most important to Jesus. This is what He said, “This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.